This blog is about the story of my family here in America. We arrived in the 1630s as Puritans, and became the common folk of the New World.

The Puritans and the end of the divine right of kings

My family, the Puritans, probably had no idea that they were sowing the seeds for the destruction of their idea of their own theocracy, that is, a form of government in which a god or deity is recognized as the state's supreme civil ruler. Like all protestants, they rejected the Catholic church. And most importantly, they rejected the structure of the church, such as popes, bishops, etc. Like all good protestants to this day, they could read the Bible for themselves. And this would ultimately undermine a type of government that had functioned well for centuries, where power was vested in a ruling class that was said to be derived by God directly.

It really all started in Germany with Martin Luther, who translated the Bible into German (from Latin) for the first time in the 15th century. Consider that for centuries, the only people who could even read the Bible, which was printed only in Latin, were the clergy. The common folk attended church, but they had no idea what was being said. They trusted their leaders. But it was a short step from a German to an English translation, and my family were among the very first of the English-speaking world to read The Word of God for themselves, and really understand it. And once they had that, they really had no need to follow blindly.

This was really the beginning of freedom of religion for Christianity. And it should have come as no surprise to the religious leaders of the Puritan communities in America that their congregations should begin to follow the dedicates of their own conscience, and have less and less of a reason to follow the leaders.

Within a few years, people in America would figure out that if they didn't need clergy in order to preserve their own salvation, they didn't need kings, either. A new type of freedom was about to be born in the world. The divine right of kings was ending, and freedom of religion was beginning.
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